Elusive Bornean Clouded Leopard Captured On Camera

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by Jaxon S on August 20, 2008

in Borneo Flora and Fauna,Borneo Wildlife

Motion-sensitive cameras have captured images of a highly elusive Bornean Clouded Leopard in its natural habitat in Sebangau National Park in South Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo Island.

A team of researchers from Oxford University set up 22 remote cameras, of which one of them captured the Bornean Clouded Leopard, the smallest of the big cats.

BBC reported that the cat was first classified as a separate species in 2007 after genetic testing highlighted at least 40 differences from clouded leopards found on mainland Asia.

Meanwhile, The Telegraph quoted Dr Susan Cheyne, from the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University’s Department of Zoology, as saying that, “These cats are extremely elusive and shy.”

“If they are surviving in an area that has had extensive disturbance from mankind and logging then it is very positive. As the level of disturbance in the park decreases then we hope they will do well.

“They also provide a good indicator of the health of the forest as cloud leopards are the largest predator in Borneo. If there was insufficient prey, they would not be able to survive.” [Source]

Bornean clouded leopards are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and there are thought to be around 10,000 of them left in the wild.

With long bodies and short limbs, clouded leopards are expert tree climbers. They feed on monkeys, birds and wild pigs.

They also have the largest canine teeth relative to their body size compared to any other cat.

Professor David MacDonald, director of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, said: “The Bornean clouded leopard is a top priority for our programme, and we are very excited by this evidence that they occur at Sebangau – a great deal remains to be discovered about these beautiful felids, which are a flagship for conservation in South East Asia.”

The team also captured pictures of endangered Orang-utans, gibbons, the mysterious Sun bear and other smaller cats such as the marbled cat and flat-headed cat.

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